Throughout this year, we have worked closely with media organizations to make their content even more social by empowering readers to experience media through their friends and easily discover and share great content. From social plugins to deeper Graph API implementations, we have worked with digital content providers who are focused on driving traffic and deepening engagement with their content. During this time, the average media organization has seen a greater than 100% increase in referral traffic from Facebook.
As the year closes, we wanted to share a few particularly compelling examples that illustrate what’s possible when sites go social.
Sporting News, a multimedia company that that caters to sports fans, deeply integrated Facebook into their online experience to offer its users the ability to like articles, videos, and teams throughout the site. In the five months since implementing social plugins, Facebook grew from less than one percent of traffic to the #1 referring domain to SportingNews.com. In addition, Sporting News found that content shared on Facebook received more engagement with average daily re-sharing up by 65% and commenting up by over 18%.
In April, The Washington Post integrated Facebook Platform to create a social experience across the site with “Network News.” The Washington Post has seen more than 280% increase in referral traffic year-over-year, as news becomes instantly relevant and as readers respond to what their friends have liked or what piece of today's news is most recommended.
Cracked.com, a Demand Media property, is an irreverent humor site that boasts viral editorial content. Using social plugins, Cracked makes it easy for readers to share content with their friends, and access personalized recommendations based on things their friends have liked. In the last five months, Facebook has referred more unique visitors to Cracked than any other site on the web. Year over year, Cracked has seen an over 450% growth in visits from Facebook users. Cracked also discovered that Facebook referrals are more engaged on their site — they comment, share, and read more.
We think the story behind these successes is more important than the stats. We’ve found that people share, read, and engage more when it's surfaced through friends and people they know and trust. We are proud of these early results and we look forward to more great innovation in 2011. Keep an eye on the Facebook + Media Page for more updates in the New Year.